The book opens with Valkrie and Black Widow undercover, acquiring an artifact from a Roxxon executive (bonus for even using Roxxon, one of the best evil corporations out there!) They nab the object, with Steve Rogers' help, and it turns out to be a variant of the Serpent Crown. So in the opening few pages we've got undercover work, punching, and the return of an old Avengers plot-device. Fantastic! The story goes on to show that Roxxon had been digging on Mars and that's probably where they discovered the crown. After losing contact with team-member Nova, Cap rallies the troops and they head off to recover the Human Rocket.
I loved the character interaction in this title. Black Widow and Valkrie are both tough gals, but in totally different ways. Rhodey/War Machine feels like a techie, a hero, and a pilot all at the same time. I love the idea of Moon Knight trying the Avengers thing again, hoping it can help him clean up his act. And pairing him with Ant-Man is genius. Ant-Man also needs redemption, and we've seen how Ant-Man tends to latch onto authority type mentors when he gets to the big dance (he was constantly puppy-dogging Paladin in Thunderbolts). Nova makes sense for this mission on Mars, and I do hope that he gets to stick around. From Rogers' dialogue, it seems the roster may be shifting around a bit.
I will say there are a LOT of time jumps in this book. I kept it straight, but I sure wouldn't mind a bit more linear of a story next time. I also have no idea what is up with Fury in that suit. Is that something from Secret Warriors?
Mike Deodato's art is fantastic. The backgrounds are a bit iffy, but I love the designs for Cap, Beast, and especially Ant-Man. The cover for next issue promises some great space-suit designs coming up too. This is a hell of a comic.